A Few Thoughts on Education from Maritain

The following are taken from Jacques Maritain, "Science, Philosophy and Faith"

"An army in which anybody may be a general is not the army of democracy but of stupidity.  A republic of knowledge in which each type of knowledge claimed for itself the architectonic rank, or where it was declared that no one body of knowledge had a higher rank than any other, or a superordinate regulative role, would be a republic of ignorance."

"In truth, the need for order and for unity is unescapable.  If one denies the conditions of a true and natural unity, in which the degrees of knowledge—each one autonomous at its level, each one having its own jurisdiction and its own specific truth to know—are distributed according to the nature of their objects, one would ultimately come to ask of the social or political obedience of the thinking subjects, or of their racial or national endowment, an absurd and despotic unity of the spirit.  One would dress physics, biology, mathematics, philosophy and theology in the same brown or red shirt.  One would proclaim, to the great shame of the human spirit—and we have heard of such things—the constitutional unity and single dignity of sciences of pure Aryan or German blood or of the sciences of pure Marxist-Leninist persuasion.  And they alone, once regimented, would have the right to exist."

"If it is denied that there is a true and natural hierarchy of the degrees of knowledge, disposed according to their purpose, one will be led not to suppress all hierarchy, but to subordinate wisdom to science and to ascribe the regulative role of the sciences to a lower order, which actually amounts to refusing existence to the higher sciences and to wisdom, and to the truths which it is their mission to dispense among men. Let us not delude ourselves; an education in which the sciences of phenomena and the corresponding techniques take precedence over philosophical and theological knowledge is already, potentially, a Fascist education; an education in which biology, hygiene and eugenics provide the supreme criteria of morality is already, potentially, a Fascist education."